Archive | September, 2012

The List Magazine’s Reader’s Choice Award

The List Magazine’s Reader’s Choice Award

Posted on 28 September 2012 by hulda

We are delighted to have won The List Magazine Reader’s Choice Award for our category. We had great night and are thankful to everybody for their support. Thank you all!

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Annerley wins The List Magazine’s Reader’s Choice Award

Posted on 28 September 2012 by hulda

We are delighted to have won The List Magazine’s Reader’s Choice Award for Hong Kong’s Best Parenting Service. We had great night and are thankful to everybody for their support. Thank you all!

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Orla Breeze

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The Seven Secrets of Motherhood

Posted on 25 September 2012 by Annerley

Orla Breeze

Orla Breeze, workshop facilitator

I’m really putting myself on the line here. I may even end up being excommunicated from the Church of All Mothers but darn it, I’m going to reveal the secrets of motherhood. Yes I know I’m not supposed to but hey, rules were made to be broken so hang on to your baby flab because here we go….

Secret Number One

Motherhood absolutely does not come naturally.  In fact it comes about as naturally as climbing a tree does to a fish. Yes it’s true that some women have more of an aptitude for the job than others but just because everyone tells you that you’re going to be a natural mother doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be. It takes time to learn a new skill especially when you’ve just spent nine months growing a human being inside you. Don’t expect it all to fall into place as soon as you get home. If you were starting any other new job, you would probably expect some bumps in the road for the first few months and that’s probably the most realistic way to view motherhood. Take each day as it comes and don’t be afraid to ask for help…often!

Secret Number Two

Guess what, you’ve just made a complete career change and your new job is nothing like your old one! Picture this…you’re at work one day and your boss calls you into his office. The following conversation ensues:

Boss:    We’ll be making a few changes around here. In approximately 9 months, we’re going to move you into a new department. In fact, we’re going to change your job completely.

You:     Well can you give me some more information on the job requirements? I may not be suited to it.

Boss:    You’re perfectly suited. Being a woman, it’ll all come naturally enough. Can’t give you too much information at this point.  It’s a kind of a ‘learn-as-you-go’ experience. There are a few books you can read but, to honest, they’re really only a rough guide and some information could turn out to be completely wrong.

You:      (anxiously) That doesn’t sound too reassuring. Can’t I just stay where I am?

Boss:     (laughing) Oh no! This is something you’ve wanted for a long time. You’re going to love every single minute.

You:      (breaking into a sweat) But it’s a promotion – right? More responsibility, more money?

Boss:     Oh it’s definitely more responsibility but I’m afraid we’ll be cutting out your salary completely. And your holidays and your lunchtimes and coffee breaks and also your sleep.

You:      (panicking) My sleep?!? Why would my job have anything to do with my sleep?

Boss:     Oh didn’t I mention? The hours are rather long. 24/7 initially mellowing out to about 16 hrs a day…after the first 7 months or so.

You:      Are you out of your mind?

Boss:     No but you will be……

Not so surprising that so many of us feel overwhelmed, exhausted and yes…..completely out of our minds.

Secret Number Three

Just because our mothers made some sacrifices for their kids doesn’t mean that we have to. The majority of our mums were expected to stay home, raise the children, clean the house and not complain about it. They really had no choice. The idea of having any time to themselves whatsoever was considered laughable. But times have changed and so have we. Nowadays a lot of women have a full-on career before they become mums. Most women have been financially independent. All women could pretty much come and go as they pleased.  The good news is that we don’t have to ‘sacrifice’ that part of ourselves anymore. Make a plan either before you become a mum or, if you’re already one, as soon as possible. It’s incredibly important to have some ‘me-time’ for a whole number of reasons. Every other job on the planet provides breaks, lunch hours and holidays.  Motherhood should be no exception. So ask yourself the following questions:

  • Where can I schedule in regular ‘me-time’? eg a weekend afternoon or a regular weekly lunch with a friend.
  • Which weekend morning is my lie-in morning? i.e. You sleep in on a Sat, hubbie sleeps in on a Sun
  • Can hubbie and I schedule one night-out a week together?
  • What time of the year can I go away without the family for a long weekend?

Having some time for you makes a HUGE difference to your happiness. Believe me, I’m talking from experience! And you never know, if your mum sees you doing it and enjoying life, she may do the same for herself.

Secret Number Four

There seems to be an unwritten rule that women shouldn’t admit to any difficulties they’re facing as a mother. Everything should appear to be going really well even if you’re very busy falling apart inside. It’s difficult to admit to what you perceive as a ‘failure’ when you’ve probably been very successful in your previous career (or continued career). As a result, you’ll find that most mums would rather tell you how great it’s going instead of the truth. That’s not to say that every woman is having a hard time but I would hazard a guess that most are coming up against some challenges pretty frequently! So don’t be afraid to tell another mum what’s really going on. If we don’t start to break this cycle, we’ll all end up with nervous breakdowns! Share your true stories and be amazed at how every other mum knows exactly what you’re going through.

Secret Number Five

Nobody and I repeat nobody will think you don’t love your baby just because you’ve mentioned how much s/he is winding you up. Babies are excellent at pushing our buttons and you’d have to be a saint not to complain about them from time to time (or all the time!)

Secret Number Six

Normal physical side effects of Motherhood:

  • Piles – Go see a doctor, get the cream and use it!
  • Constipation – Ooowwweeeey! Do whatever it takes to get it out!
  • Pelvic Pain – Get checked over by a physio/chiropractor/bodyworker of choice to see if any adjustments need to be made.
  • Back Pain – ditto
  • Neck/Shoulder Pain – ditto
  • Hair Loss/Thinning  - Usually lasts a few months. Talk to your hair stylist before jumping the gun and getting a hair transplant in Sydney, your hair will eventually grown back. Unlike your husband’s!
  • Low Sex Drive – Exhaustion, stress and a body you no longer recognise do not contribute to feeling sexy. Talk to your partner about how you’re feeling. Ask him to take plenty of time to get you in the mood and you’ll slowly find your libido returning. Slowly being the operative word!

Secret Number Seven

Just because Motherhood is essentially unpaid doesn’t mean that it has no value.  Motherhood is the most joyful, fulfilling, amazing journey of your life. Nothing compares to it. In fact, it’s the most important job on this planet and I’m not just saying that because it sounds good (although let’s face it, it does) but because it really is. A child shows us what true unconditional love is. S/he bursts our hearts wide open to teach us that we too can be unconditionally loving. Has any other job ever done that for you or even come close? As a mum you have the ability to shape and mould your child/ren into becoming amazing adults who will go on to change the face of humanity.  So next time someone tries to make you feel like you’re doing nothing of value, just think about the pride you’ll feel when you hear your grown-up children say that they couldn’t have done it without you.

For  more secrets of motherhood, sign up for the next Truth About Motherhood workshop with Orla Breeze.  Begins Friday Oct 5th at Annerley. For full details click here

 

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Simplifying the Path to Parenthood

Posted on 25 September 2012 by Annerley

 

Wednesday October 3rd  9.30am & 10.30am at Tiny Footprints, 10/f, 1 Duddell St, Central

Becoming a parent is a major life transition and just like every other major change, it brings both joy and challenges. Mother of 3, Orla Breeze, will give you a full and honest account of what the first year of parenting can bring. From common misconceptions to possible pitfalls, you’ll leave this talk knowing exactly what to expect once all the expecting is done! Both parents-to-be and new parents welcome. Full information on this talk can be found here

 

Workshop Facilitator & EFT practitioner Orla Breeze works with new parents and parents-to-be at Annerley where she runs her popular workshops: Daddy 101 and The Truth About Motherhood.

 

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Procedures that you should know before giving birth in Hong Kong

Posted on 21 September 2012 by hulda

 

Check out Hulda’s piece, “Preparing for birth in a public hospital in Hong Kong” on SassyMama!

In Hong Kong, every person with a Hong Kong ID card has the right to use the government hospital maternity services at a minimal cost. The maternal health clinics generally provide adequate services, staff, equipment, and resources to ensure your safety. The facilities are up to standard and the delivery rooms are big and very well equipped. It can be a great experience to give birth in a public hospital but we highly recommend parents educate themselves so they know the politics, preferences and the procedures within each hospital.

Read the full article >>

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Hulda is featured in ATV’s News Magazine show!

Hulda is featured in ATV’s News Magazine show!

Posted on 18 September 2012 by hulda

Hulda with Louise Buckley, preparing for her homebirth.

Hulda is featured in a recent segment on ATV’s current affairs show, News Magazine (ATV時事追擊) covering homebirths, where three mothers who have chosen to give birth at home share their experiences.

Prior to deciding on having a homebirth, all the mothers had ensured that they were in good health, had a low-risk pregnancy and had done extensive research on their options.

Homebirths allows fathers to be more involved during the birthing process assisting their wives. The mothers who chose to give birth at home did so because of the restrictive rules of the public hospitals and their desire to give birth naturally in the comfort of their own home.

While all the mothers say they had great experiences with homebirths and that they would do so again, giving birth at home does have its risks and is not suited for everyone. Hulda says that homebirths are not recommended for first-time mothers, women with high-risk pregnancies, and live far from a hospital.

Hulda is the only midwife in Hong Kong who assists with homebirths. Homebirths in Hong Kong are less common than abroad because most people live in apartments that make accessing hospitals more difficult if something was to go wrong. Hulda says she assists approximately ten homebirths a year and of those, only two would be local families while the rest are expatriates.

Hulda’s client, Louise Buckley says that giving birth is a “totally instinctive process. So I personally trust my body and I trust nature. I trust that things will be ok” which is why she chose to give birth at home.

Since homebirths are not for recommended for every woman, giving birth in a hospital is the best option for most. In the last few years, some public hospitals in Hong Kong have added improvements to their maternity ward to help mothers feel more at home, but those accommodations are limited.

To help mothers through the public hospital system in Hong Kong, Annerley offers the Best of Both package and the Navigation through the Public Hospitals workshop to give mothers the knowledge they need to have the birth that they want.

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Do you need to throw the books away?

Do you need to throw the books away?

Posted on 17 September 2012 by Kristrun

Niamh replied to Hulda’s blogFrom the Annerley Photo Collection and shared her story with us. Sometimes you just need to throw the books away. Thanks Niamh for sharing your story!

Hulda,

What a lovely piece.

I never cease to be amazed at the adaptability of babies. The reading I did prior to the birth of my first child was all about routine, routine, routine. I remember how one book reduced me tears when was about 30 weeks pregnant “how on earth can I follow such a rigid schedule? What happens if my baby doesn’t want to feed at 6.30am? What happens if she doesn’t dirty her nappy at 7.53am?”

In due course the baby made her entrance.  I threw the books away. It took a lot of trial and error, both of us were new to each other after all but you know what? We learned how to make it work with each other. She fed, she slept (sometimes!), her cot went largely unused as it seemed far more cozy and more convenient to have her next to me. I too learned to feed without waking. The 3 month time frame I had put on feeding her before she arrived passed unnoticed. Suddenly she was 1 and we were still going strong as a harmonious yet ever changing partnership. One day she didn’t want my milk any more. What a bittersweet moment! So proud that the baby was becoming an independent little person, yet so sad that this special time was over.

In due course number 2 baby was on her way. I didn’t look at any books because I had thrown them out! Plus I thought I had it all worked out by then. How wrong! The new baby was a very different little person but yet again we both learned from each other. She too fed into her second year.

You were there for number three daughter’s arrival. You helped her and I organize our self for that special first feed. We never looked back. For that I thank you.

My feeding days are well behind me now but I will always remember how much I enjoyed them (bar the painful first few weeks) and how much they taught me about patience, love and understanding.

Niamh

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pregnancy-test

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True or False? False Negatives in Pregnancy Tests

Posted on 13 September 2012 by Annerley

Is it true that you can get false negatives in pregnancy tests? If it is true, can you also get a ‘false positive’?

Hulda replies:

False negatives in pregnancy tests and false positives in home pregnancy tests are both very, very rare. The pregnancy tests can appear as negative when it is done too early as your hormonal levels are relatively low or if your urine is not concentrated at all (for example, after you drink a lot of fluids).

The best time to take the test is in the morning. If your pregnancy test still appears to be negative despite feeling that you might be pregnant, repeat the test in a few days because usually the hormonal levels will have come up enough to confirm the pregnancy by then.

Generally, you can trust the results of pregnancy tests as they very rarely produce wrong results. I have not seen a “false positive” result from a pregnancy test in my entire career, except after a pregnancy and the hormonal levels were still high.

Usually, the test is the last thing you need to confirm the pregnancy, since most women would have many prior signs that would indicate the pregnancy.

Experts suggest that you should wait at least a week after a missed period to get the most accurate result. Results may also be more accurate if you do the test first thing in the morning, when your urine is more concentrated.

Urine home pregnancy tests are about 97% accurate. Blood tests are even more accurate than this.

How accurate a home pregnancy test is depends upon:

  • How closely you follow instructions.
  • When you ovulate in your cycle and how soon implantation occurs.
  • How soon after pregnancy you take the test.
  • The sensitivity of the pregnancy test.

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Expat Living: Births and Berths

Expat Living: Births and Berths

Posted on 07 September 2012 by hulda

Hulda featured Expat Living (Aug 2012)

Hulda is featured in Expat Living Hong Kong where she opens up her spacious boathouse and shares her experiences mooring to a client.

“It has happened recently. ‘I had one client n Discovery Bay who was due any minute so we moored the boat there waiting for her to go into labour,’ says Hulda. ‘We have a dinghy and often it’s a mad dash to shore in the middle of the night.’”

To read more of Hulda’s experiences, please view the August 2012 issue of Expat Living >>

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Hulda in Sai Kung Magazine – August 2012

Hulda in Sai Kung Magazine – August 2012

Posted on 05 September 2012 by hulda

Hulda featured in Sai Kung Magazine (Aug 2012)

Hulda was featured in the 2012 August issue of Sai Kung Magazine where she talks about her life as a mother, entrepreneur and Icelandic Honorary Consul.

Hulda on giving birth in Hong Kong: “I teach midwifery at the Prince of Wales Hospital. Midwifery here is less family-orientated than the Western approach. Safety is highly regarded, and they take really good care of the patients. My role is to boost the confidence of the women and give moral support.”

Read the full interview here (PDF) >>.

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